Saturday, 12 December 2015

12/12/2015 - new Monroe 4x4 Adventure shocks, 50mm raise, new springs, ready for 30 day trip!

So my final major modification, 4 x 4 Monroe Adventure shock upgrades all around, is done. It was not cheap, but well worth the hit to my Visa card (will pay off when the next bill comes!).   I got the following mods done to my van:

a) Monroe 4x4 Adventure Shocks (4x)

b) My van was raised by 50mm (2") in the rear and 25mm (1" in the front)

c) Loads more clearance under the back 2/3 of the  van now! 

d) Risers on the rear axel
e) Removed my extra "fancy 4WD" step bumper from the left side to avoid getting high grounded in rocky condition. I still have the step inside the van! 

Besides going a food shopping trip just before I leave on the trip to fill my 41L fridge, the van has been fully modified is ready for anything (more or less).    My next blog entry will be for the first day of the trip or just afterwards...

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

10/12/2015 - Stocking up with GPS/radio, 2 stoves, new machete, etc

Garmin Rino 650 - GPS and 5Watt VHF
radio with altimeter & more! Dash mount included!

13" Machete for hunting, fishing, wood cutting,
and taking down zombies...
With about 8 days before my big trip - 30 days 4WDing on New Zealand's south Island, I'm starting to organize all my important survival gear.  I pack my fly fishing gear including waiters, net, 4 piece travel rod, and a whole bunch of custom flies already in the van.  I have a surfcasting rod as well with a really nice real in 15 pound test on.  I'm not sure about my fishing lures for saltwater, etc so I'm going to stop in a fishing supply store somewhere down south island to make sure I have the right stuff. No worries though.

I went shopping today and I have a new machete.  Ironically I got to test the machete today because I am cooking a lamb's leg and had to chop it in half in order for it to fit in our pot.  Since it is a full-size lamb leg with thick bone, I put it on our cutting board and with only one simple swipe of my new machete it cut through it like a hot knife does through butter.

Wow!  I guess I have my zombie apocalypse weapon.. No ammo required(!??!?!) < evil laugh!!!>

I picked up the machete at the local hunting and fishing store.  I also picked up my MSR XGK II stove with the pump. The stove and the pump were being check for faults by an authorised MSR repair centre nearby.  I'm really glad I got a check because the jet burner was broken/ very faulty, and they said if I would've turned it on it might have exploded on me.  They replace some O-rings on the pump, and gave it a good clean.  So even though my XGK stove is about 10 years old, it's now running like new!  I have another stove in my van already and it's the MSR Whisperlite Interational.  Both of the stoves serve specific purposes for me:

XGK II - is the ultimate mountaineering and cold weather portable stove.  It boils 2L water in about 1.5 minutes

Whisperlite International - is a globally recognised reliable stove that is for cooking, boiling and simmering.  While I could use it for boiling, I prefer to use my XGK as it is faster.  This way I can boil water for coffee or tea using the XGK, while cooking on the other Whisperlite International.

Tomorrow afternoon I get back my van from G Guy Motors with four new shocks, new custom springs, my lower step bumper removed and my newly replaced 400watt LED bar for my bull bar. I'm getting quite excited here!!!  Eight days from now,I depart on my 30 day/ 4WD trip to New Zealand's south Island....

09/12/2015 - Rear door gas struts re-gassed for strength

Since G Guy Motors added the custom made rear ladder onto my van rear door, the rear door had 'issues' staying upright.  In fact, prior to the ladder being installed, it was not the best anyway.  So I hired the only professional in the region to "re-gas" the struts to be better than new.  New struts are $125 each. He re-gassed both of my struts for $115.00 total!   Yes they are BETTER than new.  He added additional pressure to ensure the rear door stays up even in high wind. 
Holding up the door while the specialist re-gasses the
left strut to finish the job..

Today & tomorrow:
10/12 - 11/12: My van is back at G Guy Motors to have some more work done on it:

1) Four (4) all new Monroe Off-Road shocks installed (to replace my wimpy factory shocks) as well as fabricating me custom springs for the rear of wheels of my van to raise it up some. Then to wrap up that with a 4WD 4-wheel alignment.

2) New LED light - Two weeks ago, even with a security system installed/active, some f*ck*rs stole my twin 300watt LEDs (IP68) from my bullbar at night. I filed a police report, but they'll never get caught. So I have a replacement 400watt LED light bar (IP68) being installed with the best security screws all around. These screws are one-way on, no off screws. The only way to get them off is a blowtorch or grinder.  G Guy is installing that for me too.

3) G Guy is unbolting/removing my fancy extra low"side step bumper" as its unneeded and could cause me to get high grounded on my left side while 4WDing. I'll store that in my garage until it's needed again.

4) G Guy Motors is investigating a way to install some better lights for reversing at night since my factory lights cannot be seen through my limo grade window tinting. TBD on that.

T-minus 8 days before my 30-day 4WD trip to the NZ's South Island begins...  I am getting pumped!